University of Louisville drops Papa John’s name from stadiumplayBomani wishes farewell to Papa John (0:57)Bomani Jones is happy John Schnatter is out as a Louisville trustee after his use of the N-word during a conference call. (0:57)4:34 PM ETAndrea AdelsonESPN Staff Writer Close ACC reporter.
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Graduate of the University of Florida.Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced Friday the school will strip the Papa John’s name from its football stadium, renaming it Cardinal Stadium.John Schnatter, the pizza chain founder, admitted earlier this week that he used the N-word during an internal conference call. Since then, the fallout has been swift: Schnatter resigned from the school’s board of trustees and as Papa John’s chairman. Not only will the Papa John’s name come off the football stadium, Bendapudi also said the school would take Schatter’s name off the Center for Free Enterprise inside the business school. The changes are effective immediately.Bendapudi said at a news conference in Louisville that she had informed Papa John’s and Schnatter of her decision. She said Schnatter was contrite, apologetic and supported the move because he didn’t want to be a distraction.”By taking this action, we renew our community’s commitment to speaking up when it matters, doing what is right, and coming together as one team — our Cardinal family — to heal and move forward,” she said.The naming rights deal for the football stadium is unique because the school’s deal is with Schnatter, not the Papa John’s brand. The deal provides that if he leaves the company, Schnatter can rename the building. His current deal with the university runs through 2040.Bendapudi said the university hasn’t yet worked out the financial details for removing the name, but she also added the school wasn’t looking for a new naming rights deal at this time.Some football players tweeted on Thursday they wanted to see the Papa John’s name removed from the stadium. Bendapudi met with the football team after the announcement, and she told the players they had her full support.”I do believe our voice was heard and we made a huge impact on this city and the university so I’m just proud of my guys,” running back Trey Smith said.Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said in a statement that the school “made the correct decision” to rename the stadium.